With a bustling economy and a substantial online presence, Indonesia is primed for Internet-related business growth. Recognising this potentials, Lazada Group had just appointed Alessandro Piscini as CEO of the Indonesian branch having already taken Thailand’s Lazada branch to exceptional financial heights as its CMO.
Originally from Italy, he has worked for six years in Southeast Asia understanding the market and the ground that Lazada has been traversing in an ever-growing market. However, before his 2013 venture into Asia, he was an investment banker and worked in London, where he spent his time in Barclays and Credit Suisse. His banking background only increased his passion for global travel and work.
Having spent time in both the US and the UK—and being inspired by documentaries about other companies starting online—he looked to Asia and e-commerce as the next step in his life. “What excites me the most is especially the early part of a start-up where there were just 18 to 20 people starting a dream from a small place.” He then set out online and applied for a job that a friend had posted on Facebook, which, in turn, made him one of the earliest people who found a job through social media.
Piscini soon found himself moving from Notting Hill in West London to the redlight district of Bangkok. “From one of our windows, you could see the Nana Plaza strip joints,” he said. “At that time, we were a very small venture that was struggling to survive.” Starting out as regional merchandiser, Piscini watched closely as Lazada Thailand grew up into the mega e-commerce company it is today.
The development of 3G and 4G networks has allowed Southeast Asia to become more engaged in terms of social media and e-commerce and has grown faster than any other market. “With this growth, Lazada has had to change its image many times from being an electronic website doing retail only, to being a marketplace of sellers,” Piscini said. “Previously only a desktop website, we started developing our mobile app, which was really a game-changer as 90 per cent of our orders now are placed through the recently launched LazMall in the app.”
This story appears in the January 2019 issue of Indonesia Tatler. For the full story, grab the copy at your nearest newsstand, or subscribe here.